Well, well, well… I see that WordPress ditched the “Pro” Plan. What an absolute clusterfuck that was. I unloaded in July over their mess (last blog post). As an “I’m sorry” gesture, I was given a $120.00 credit towards a Business Plan. Ok. I’ll bite. The Biz Plan comes with a lot of features and I did get used to the “Classic Editor” plug-in and the “I-Frame” plug-in. I also get access to a tip jar/buy me a coffee payment feature. It would be nice to be appreciated for my work. Just sayin’…
Anyway, I am back but, I may be busy trying to clean up many of my previous posts that the “Pro Plan From Hell” fucked up royally. Uploaded videos may need to be re-uploaded…or restored. I have accounts with Rumble & YouTube so, embedding will work. The BIG question at this point is, have the Happiness Engineers straightened out the browser Reader & the app Reader so that everything renders properly.
We shall see… ~Vic
Hanspostcard/Max has a TV draft challenge. This is my Round Five pick.
I didn’t catch the first season of this show during its original run but, started watching during season two (it was a while before I got to see season one). I was immediately hooked by the quirky interaction between the sisters and their day to day lives in Winnetka, IL and, I was already a Patricia Kalember fan due to the short-lived Kay O’Brien TV show. ~Vic
Created by Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman, the series begins one year after the death of the family’s father, Dr. Thomas Reed, a workaholic, played in flashbacks by three different actors but, mostly by Peter White. The matriarch of the family is Beatrice (Elizabeth Hoffman), a long-suffering, neglected wife, who turns to alcohol to deal with the doctor’s multiple affairs. She has four daughters:
☆ Alexandra…”Alex” (Swoosie Kurtz), the eldest. She married a plastic surgeon that had affairs on her and she divorced him, retaining some wealth. After battling breast cancer, she became a talk show host. She frequently butts heads her daughter, Reed Halsey (played by three different actresses, most notably Ashley Judd). She eventually remarries.
☆ Theodora…”Teddy” (Sela Ward), the second daughter. At the beginning of the series, she is returning from California and is shocked to discover that her ex-husband, Mitch, is engaged to her youngest sister, Frankie. She, drunk, temporarily, stops the wedding with a shotgun (she inherited Beatrice’s drinking habits). An artist in school, she becomes a fashion designer, helming three different companies. She goes on to marry twice more…to Det. James Falconer (George Clooney), the cop that investigated her daughter Cat’s rape (he was killed in an explosion) and Dr. Gabriel Sorenson (Stephen Collins), the doctor that saved her life when she was shot in the head.
☆ Georgiana…”Georgie” (Patricia Kalember), the third daughter. She is the stay-at-home mom with the most level head of all the sisters. A part-time real estate agent, she is the one the other sisters come to for guidance. She and her husband, John, have two sons, the youngest surviving leukemia. She carries and gives birth to Thomas George, Frankie & Mitch’s son. After trouble with her first son, she has an affair with her therapist, separates from John, has a second affair with a much younger classmate in college and, eventually returns to John.
☆ Francesca…”Frankie” (Julianne Phillips…Springsteen’s first wife), the fourth daughter. She is a highly paid executive, a workaholic like her father and discovered that she was infertile. Georgie becomes her surrogate for her baby. Her work habits break apart her marriage to Mitch. Afterwards, she quits her job and buys a local diner. She eventually moves to Japan for another job.
☆ Charlotte…”Charley” (a doctor, originally played by Jo Anderson, then Sheila Kelley) as the unknown, fifth, illegitimate daughter that shows up in the fourth season, looking for a bone marrow donation (a shift in the story-line as Julianne Phillips prepared to leave the show). The nicknames are a product of their father wanting boys and never getting one. The four older sisters tagged Charlotte with her own nickname.
★ John Witsig (Garrett M. Brown), Georgie’s husband.
★ Mitch Margolis (Ed Marinaro), Teddy’s high school sweetheart, ex-husband & Frankie’s ex-husband.
★ Catherine “Cat” Margolis (Heather McAdam), Teddy & Mitch’s daughter that goes on to be a cop.
Much of the show is full of flashbacks, particularly the interactions of the sisters growing up.
♦ Patricia Kalember’s husband in real life, Daniel Gerroll, had a recurring role in season five. He played psychiatrist Dr. David Caspian, who was counseling her character Georgie.
♦ Julianne Phillips and Patricia Kalember also co-starred in Fletch Lives.
♦ Elizabeth Hoffman was a minor, recurring character on Stargate SG-1 and played Eleanor Roosevelt in two mini-series: The Winds of War (1983) and War & Remembrance (1988-1989).
Scene & Opening Theme
Hanspostcard/Max has a TV draft challenge. This is my Round Four pick.
I’ve stated, before, that I was born and raised in law enforcement. I’ve also worked in law enforcement (non-sworn) at two different agencies, one state and one county (think of me as the blond chick on Criminal Minds, sitting in front of a computer screen…though I am not blond). It can be an interesting job if you’re lucky enough to be employed with an agency that doesn’t take its political self too seriously (virtually impossible these days). I’ve met and worked with a couple of FBI agents. They were nice, everyday guys, back in the late 90s and early 2000s. I’ve seen and heard a lot of things.
The Sci-Fi geek that I am, I’m not presenting this show in that light. This show is, first and foremost, law enforcement. These are the folks, alongside first responders, to arrive at the scene of the accident, the scene of the disaster or the crime scene. In the case of these FBI agents, they investigate the weird shit. That being said, I do have a very full binder of X-Files non-sport cards and chase (special) cards, plus, all of the original series-run DVDs. ~Vic
Created and written by Chris Carter, there were many other writers, including David Duchovny (Agent Fox Mulder), Gillian Anderson (Agent Dana Scully) and Stephen King but, this was Carter’s baby. It starred Duchovny and Anderson as the dynamic duo, investigating all manner of odd, macabre, out-of-this-world or just plain gross happenings. In later years, Duchovny reduced his presence on the show and eventually left. In 2000, Robert Patrick (Agent John Doggett) was brought in as a new partner for Gillian Anderson. In 2001 Annabeth Gish (Agent Monica Reyes) showed up and, with the upcoming departure of Anderson, became Patrick’s partner. There was some chatter that the show would live on with Patrick and Gish but, it never materialized. Gish returned in the series revival but, Patrick did not. Neither of them were in the X-Files feature films.
Other regular cast members were Mitch Pileggi (Asst. Dir. Walter Skinner), William B. Davis (Cigarette Smoking Man), Nicholas Lea (Alex Krycek), Chris Owens (Jeffrey Spender, son of the Cigarette Smoking Man) and James Pickens, Jr. (Asst. Dir./Dep. Dir. Alvin Kersh). Secondary, popular characters were Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund & Bruce Harwood (The Lone Gunmen), Don. S. Davis (Captain William Scully, Agent Scully’s father), Sheila Larken (Margaret Scully, Agent Scully’s mother), Melinda McGraw (Melissa Scully, Agent Scully’s older sister), Pat Skipper (Bill Scully, Jr., Agent Scully’s older brother), Jerry Hardin (Deep Throat), Steven Williams (Mr. X), Rebecca Toolan (Teena Mulder, Agent Mulder’s mother), Peter Donat (William Mulder, Agent Mulder’s father) and five separate actresses portrayed Samantha Mulder, the agent’s abducted, younger sister. Agent Scully also has a younger brother, Charles but, except for flashbacks, the character is uncredited.
Addendum: Honestly, I was hoping the show would continue on with Agents Doggett & Reyes. They had a lot of really good on-screen chemistry and I liked both actors. After nine years, I had grown weary of Duchovny’s primadonna attitude. When the series was revived, the magic was gone and I wasn’t impressed. Naturally, they turned Agent Reyes into a bad character and killed her off.
Addendum #2: I also have to mention that the theme song changed, just slightly, at some point. The first theme has a solid, continuous echo sound. The second theme is a double-repeating echo sound. Why it changed, I don’t know (it drove me crazy). It is never mentioned but, it did happen. Listen, below.
♦ As stated in my last draft, Mark Snow created the X-Files theme, the Starsky & Hutch theme for Season Three and many others.
♦ Gillian Anderson was nearly replaced when she got pregnant during the first season.
♦ Props from Mulder’s office are preserved at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum in LA. The I Want To Believe poster kept disappearing from the set.
♦ The agents badges read “Federal Bureau of Justice, United States Department of Investigation” as making a fake FBI badge is illegal.
♦ Gillian Anderson has stated that she based her approach to the role of Dana Scully on Jodie Foster’s performance as Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
♦ Dana Scully was named after the famous sports journalist Vin Scully. Mulder is the maiden name of Chris Carter’s mother.
♦ Chris Carter lists All the President’s Men (1976) as one of his inspirations for the series. There are numerous references to the film, including the shadowy informer Deep Throat, meetings in underground parking garages and hints at conspiracies which stretch all the way to the F.B.I.
X-Files Original Opening
X-Files Second Opening…Can you hear the difference?
Hanspostcard/Max has a TV draft challenge. This is my Round Three pick.
I was raised in law enforcement. My dad was a Probation/Parole Officer, his younger brother, a city cop in our hometown and my first cousin became a deputy. Some years later, when my dad re-married, my stepmom was Parking Enforcement for the same city police department. I grew up watching every manner of cop TV show you could find, from re-runs of Dragnet to Hawaii Five-O to Kojak to The Rookies to Baretta to Adam-12 to The Rockford Files to Police Story…and everything in-between. My personal favorite was Starsky & Hutch. I had a “thing” for Paul Michael Glaser. His picture was one of four photos I kept as a kid and young teen. The others were Lindsay Wagner, Olivia Newton-John and John Schneider. I later regretted my attachment to him. I didn’t remember most of the episodes but, I was reintroduced to the show in the 90s with re-runs. ~Vic
Created and written by William Blinn (Brian’s Song, The Rookies, Eight Is Enough & Pensacola: Wings of Gold), it starred David Soul (Det. Sgt. Kenneth Richard “Hutch” Hutchinson), Paul Michael Glaser (Det. Sgt. David Michael Starsky), Antonio Fargas (Informant Huggy Bear) and Bernie Hamilton (Captain Harold C. Dobey). In the Pilot TV Movie, Captain Dobey was played by Richard Ward. Sgt. Hutchinson was from Duluth, MN, was divorced and was a reserved, intellectual type. Sgt. Starsky was from Brooklyn, NY, was an Army veteran, had street-smarts and, could be intense & moody. Informant Huggy Bear was a flashy, ethically ambiguous bar owner that provided the two Sergeants with whatever street action knowledge he could gather. Captain Dobey was their barking & gruff but, fair boss. He had his hands full with those two. One of the main characters of the show was Starsky’s red, 1975 Ford Gran Torino (four of them, actually), nicknamed the “Striped Tomato.” In the show, Hutch calls the car that name in the episode Snowstorm (10-01-1975) but, that crack actually came from Paul Michael Glaser when Aaron Spelling showed him the car (First Season DVD Collection). Hutch’s vehicle was a beat-up, tan, 1973 Ford Galaxie 500, whose horn would blow when the door was opened.
♦ The Fix (10-08-1975)
♦ Running (with Jan Smithers/02-25-1976)
♦ The Las Vegas Strangler Part I & Part II (with Lynda Carter/09-25-1976)
♦ Nightmare (11-28-1976)
♦ Starsky’s Lady (with Season Hubley 02-12-1977)
♦ Long Walk Down A Short Dirt Road (with Lynn Anderson/03-12-1977)
♦ Fatal Charm (with Karen Valentine & Roz Kelly/09-24-1977)
♦ I Love You, Rosey Malone (10-01-1977)
♦ Blindfold (with Kim Cattrall/09-26-1978)
☆ Originally, Starsky was supposed to drive a green and white Chevy Camaro but, the producers had a contract with Ford.
☆ On numerous occasions, Paul Michael Glaser has talked about how much he hated the car, as well as playing Starsky and, that he had campaigned to be released from his contract.
☆ Zebra Three was the radio call sign for Starsky, Hutch…and the car.
☆ Starsky and Hutch were based on Lou Telano and John Sepe.
☆ The Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver used by Hutch is the same pistol carried by David Soul in his role as Officer John Davis in Magnum Force.
☆ The show had four different opening theme songs with seasons two and four crafted by Tom Scott and sounding similar. Season one was crafted by Lalo Schifrin and season three crafted by Mark Snow, known for the X-Files theme.
Hanspostcard/Quinn Maddux has a TV draft challenge. This is my Round One pick.
Doctor Who…? This long running series is its own inside joke. In its entirety, it is older than I am. I was completely unaware of it until it showed up on PBS in the US in 1978 when I was in sixth grade. It was always a treat after school and my introduction to the series was, of course, the great, long-scarfed Tom Baker, the Doctor with the longest run.
For those that have no idea about this show, Doctor Who is a Time Lord, an alien from the planet Gallifrey (setting aside the recent retcon). He belongs to an ancient race of beings who time travel and have a non-linear perception of time, itself. He (and, she, now) also has the ability to regenerate, meaning, if mortally wounded, a healing process takes place with a new body created and…a new personality. The name “Doctor” is a personal, self-selected title, and his true name is unpronounceable by humans. He travels in a TARDIS (Acronym: Time And Relative Dimension In Space), a spacecraft/time machine that he stole when he fled his planet with his Granddaughter, Susan. Built with a chameleon circuit (that is stuck in one position), the Doctor’s machine looks like a 1963 blue British police box. It is dimensionally transcendental, meaning, it is bigger on the inside than on the outside. He travels all over the Universe and, sometimes, into other, parallel Universes but, he has a particular affinity for Earth.
The Doctor rarely travels alone, preferring to have at least one companion. When I started watching, his companion was Sarah Jane Smith and she had been the companion of the Third Doctor (the late Jon Pertwee) prior to his regeneration. I watched the Tom Baker version for several years (with other companions Leela, Time Lady Romana & K9) and saw some of the episodes of the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) in the early 1980s. By the end of his run, I was a senior in high school and lost interest. Fast forward to 2005 and I’m living in Texas. The series is revived and I’m curious. My late-thirty-something self fell in love, all over again, with the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) and, his companions Rose Tyler and Captain Jack Harkness. In his case, he became the Doctor with the shortest run and a new story-line that makes the Doctor the Last of the Time Lords due to a Time War (against the Daleks…mutant beings in metal containers that resemble salt & pepper shakers) that took place prior to the show’s revival.
I thoroughly enjoyed the new episodes when they were picked up by the Sci Fi Channel in March 2006. The return of Sarah Jane Smith and K9 in the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) series and the return of Tom Baker in the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) series was an exciting re-visit of my childhood. The introduction of the War Doctor (the late John Hurt) was an interesting addition to the story-line, born out of Eccleston’s controversial exit (and subsequent blacklisting by the BBC).
Then show-runner, Steven Moffat, had originally written the Ninth Doctor as the one that ended the Time War but, knew Eccleston would not return and couldn’t see the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) providing a proper back-story. McGann never got the opportunity to explore the character for himself in any great length, despite a television film that did well in the UK in 1996. The film was a joint venture with the BBC, Universal Studios & Fox Broadcasting but, US audiences didn’t appear to be interested and a new series was not developed. When contractual rights were returned to the BBC, the revival proceeded.
By the time the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) showed up, I had lost interest, again, as ridiculous politics began to show up. I did, however, watch the last episode with River Song/Melody Pond, an on-again, off-again, sometime wife-companion to the Eleventh & Twelfth Doctors and daughter of Amy Pond & Rory Williams, companions to the Eleventh Doctor. Conceived in the TARDIS, River is human but, has Time Lord DNA. Other wonderful companions were Martha Jones, Donna Noble, Astrid Peth, Lady Christina de Souza, Adelaide Brooke and Wilfred Mott (Donna Noble’s maternal grandfather) (Tenth Doctor).
I’ve seen a handful of the First Doctor (William Hartnell) episodes but, I’ve never seen an episode of the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton), the Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) or the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy). I’ve seen a few episodes of the Captain Jack Harkness show Torchwood but, didn’t really follow it. I made a valiant attempt to watch the Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) but, between her and show-runner Chris Chibnall, the show is unwatchable and the ratings have tanked, completely. I’m so hoping that someone, somewhere, will correct this show and, bring back the whimsy and great storytelling. Until then… ~Vic
♦ Lalla Ward, the second Lady Romana (after her own regeneration), was once married to Tom Baker.
♦ David Tennant is married to Peter Davison’s daughter, Georgia Moffett.
♦ Georgia Moffett was Jenny in The Doctor’s Daughter, opposite her future husband.
♦ David Troughton, son of Patrick Troughton, was Professor Hobbes in Midnight.
♦ Karen Gillan’s (Amy Pond) cousin, Caitlin Blackwood, was Amelia Pond (young Amy) in The Eleventh Hour.
♦ Patrick Troughton was Father Brennan in The Omen.
♦ Bernard Cribbins (Wilfred Mott) was Tom Campbell in the 1966 film Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. as a companion to the Doctor (Peter Cushing).
♦ Alex Kingston (River Song) and John Barrowman (Jack Harkness) share the same birthday…March 11 (1963 & 1967, respectively).
♦ River Song is the only companion that knows The Doctor’s real name.
♦ Leela (Louise Jameson) was named after the Palestinian hijacker Leila Khaled.
♦ David Tennant was Barty Crouch, Jr., in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
♦ Rose Tyler and Jack Harkness were named after Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) and Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) from Titanic. Kate Winslet was the original choice for River Song.
♦ Sylvester McCoy was Radagast in The Hobbit Film Series.
♦ Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Karen Gillan and Jenna Coleman (Clara Oswald, companion to the Eleventh & Twelfth Doctors) have all been in Marvel movies.
♦ Sarah Jane Smith (the late Elisabeth Sladen) had her own show The Sarah Jane Adventures.
♦ There are 97 episodes missing from the first six years due to BBC archive deletions.
♦ The theme music was composed by Ron Grainer and developed by Delia Derbyshire, with early electronics, in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
Original Theme From 1963
Updated Theme From 2005
Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round Ten and final pick.
Back in 2014, I happened to catch a wonderful song that played during a commercial on HDNET (movies). HDNET didn’t have normal commercials, they just had clips from movies that it was showcasing, changing each month. I loved the song but, had no idea what the name of it was, other than what I could glean from the lyrics. I desperately wanted to know who the singer was because she had a beautiful voice. I could find nothing, so, I contacted HDNET for help. Her name? Emily Hackett. The song? A Heart Worth Saving (and I wasn’t the only one asking). It is the third track from a short compilation album called Girl Electro Pop, released July 11, 2014 (as best as I can tell). There is no chart information on the album or the song and what lyrics that are on the Internet do not match all of the words she sings. That being said, I was overjoyed to find it and download it.
That brings me to Bad Weather (no chart information on it, either). In digging around for data on Emily, I found a demo video of her singing the song with a guitarist. Then, I found the album it was on…The Raw EP, released July 24, 2015. It’s a beautiful, sad song that reminds me of a stripped down Carrie Underwood piece.
“I started this song in California when I was making lunch one day at my parent’s house. My boyfriend, Mikey, was goofing around on the guitar and I stopped him like, “What is that? We are writing that. It’s awesome.” It wasn’t until we got back to Nashville, a couple months later that we sat down with our friend Adam James and poured out this song in a couple of hours. It felt so right, we just went with it. It’s one of my favorites I’ve ever written.”
Daily Discovery: Emily Hackett
She was born in Cleveland, Ohio and was in high school in Georgia when she took off with a friend to visit Belmont University. Headed for the University of Georgia, she fell in love with Nashville and interned in the music industry:
“Here I was in Nashville at school. I had no idea that there was this whole world of music where you could have careers. I didn’t realize there was so much to it. It was cool to be studying the music business at college. I thought I could always be a writer and in Nashville, writers actually get to perform.”
Some months ago, I commented on one of Music City Mike‘s blog posts, regarding interviews of local musicians in Nashville. I told him about Emily but, I don’t know if he ever got the chance to chat with her. Give her a listen. She is a different genre from Lissie but, just as talented.
Thanks, Hans, for the invite to participate. Much like the movie draft, picking favorites is a tough go. There is SO much good music out there. I look forward to sharing more in the upcoming 2022 Draft. ~Vic
Emily Hackett Looks To The Past & Future On “Nostalgia” (Taste of Country/Sterling Whitaker/08-10-2017)
CMT’s Next Women Of Country (People Magazine/Katie Kauss/11-16-2018)
Cleveland Native Emily Hackett Comes To Beachland (Cleveland Scene/Jeff Niesel/12-04-2019)
Emily Hackett Releases Heartfelt “Handle” (The Virginia Star/Bethany Bowman/05-29-2020)
Emily Hackett Is Creating Magic (The Aquarian/Debra Kate Schafer/05-31-2020)
Demo In The Attic
Royals Cover With Megan Davies
Happy Christmas Cover
Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round Nine pick.
This, and my last pick, will feature two women that are a little less known in the music world. I skipped right over the 2000s (only so many choices) and hopped into the next decade. I happened to catch this song while listening to the University of Texas @ Austin’s radio station (a station involved with SXSW). I was hooked and I went looking for it…and her. Elisabeth Corrin Maurus or Lissie is a singer-songwriter out of Rock Island, Illinois.
“I always sang, since I was little and wrote poems in high school. I sort of taught myself to play guitar lines to the poems and stuff. In high school, it seems like everyone has more drama than any other time in their life, [so] that was the time in my life where I really leaned on music as a way to stay sane…”
Interview With Lissie
Scott the Intern
Pop Culture Madness [Web Archive]
February 11, 2008
In her senior year, she was kicked out of high school (she spit in a teacher’s face) and had to get a GED, elsewhere. Then, she hit the road, troubadour-style. She attended Colorado State in Fort Collins and liked to open for other traveling acts. After a short time in Paris, she moved to Los Angeles, met Betsy Hammer and scored an introduction to Brooks Arthur. Hammer & Arthur took her to talent manager Guy Oseary and he got her to producer Glen Ballard. She can be heard singing in the movie Have Dreams, Will Travel (Dream It Out Loud) and performed at the wedding of Demi Moore & Ashton Kutcher in 2005 (Oseary’s referral). In January 2008, she opened for Lenny Kravitz (via a hook-up on MySpace).
The third track from the album Catching A Tiger, In Sleep was released in April of 2010 and the only chart it showed up on was the UK iTunes Single of the Week. The album did manage to make it to #5 on the Billboard Folk Albums & Top Heatseekers charts and, #34 on the Independent Albums chart. The album’s first release was in the UK and hit the US two months later.
“Not to be mistaken for Lissy Trullie, […] Lissie Maurus deals in sun-kissed pop-blues straight from Laurel Canyon.
Her 12-track debut conjures images of highways and horses, with Lissie’s smoky tones echoing Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks.”
CDs of the Week: Eminem and Lissie
London Evening Standard [Web Archive]
June 18, 2010
Give her a listen. I think she is fantastic and her two band members are outstanding, as well. They are all over YouTube and, in live recordings, her bassist is sitting down, keeping the drum/cymbal beat. Talk about multitasking. I’ve included the studio version of this that has more drum work on it and a possible synthesizer. I’m also including her version of Go Your Own Way. which actually charted in the UK in 2012. The studio version sounds like it has a cello in it and is part of the soundtrack from the movie Safe Haven. She has been very busy.
Happy Halloween, Y’all! ~Vic
Interview: Lissie (Stereofox/06-12-2013)
Lissie (CTN Music Interview/12-22-2008/Web Archive)
Lissie and Her Connections (The Uncarved Blog/Ken Chawkin/05-11-2019)
Lissie Catching A Tiger Review (BBC Review/Mike Diver/2010)
Local Q&A: Lissie (Chicago Tribune Metromix/Matt Pais/11-09-2009/Web Archive)
Rock Island Native Lissie Hits Billboard’s Charts (Quad-City Times/David Burke/05-09-2008/Web Archive)
Live Recording On ARD
From Discovery of Witches
Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round Eight pick.
I remember when I heard Possession on the radio the first time. I was driving home from work and I was immediately in love. The music was stunning, her voice was stunning and I was captivated. Who is she, I thought to myself (I had no idea that Sarah McLachlan had two previous albums). I found the Fumbling Towards Ecstasy CD as fast as I could. It is a fantastic album. There is not a bad song on it.
When Surfacing came out in July 1997, I snatched it, too. It was released to coincide with the Lilith Fair. Though Fumbling Towards Ecstasy remains my favorite of her albums, Witness is my favorite single. The sixth track, it was never released as a single, has no chart information what-so-ever and it remains in the shadow of Building A Mystery, Sweet Surrender, Adia and, in particular, Angel. The album is one of two that reached #2 on the Billboard 200. It was the #1 album on Billboard’s Canadian Albums chart on August 2, 1997 and on Canada’s RPM Top Albums/CDs chart on July 28, 1997.
As an odd bit of trivia, this album is mentioned in the Starr Report, Ken Starr‘s investigation of the Monica Lewinsky Scandal, as was Altoid Mints, the movie Titanic, Billie Holliday, Elvis, Spinach Dip, Starbucks and Leaves of Grass. Monica apparently liked track #5.
This song speaks to me on so many levels. It’s a beautiful piece with beautiful lyrics… ~Vic
Make me a witness
Take me out
Out of darkness
Out of doubt
I won’t weigh you down
With good intention
Won’t make fire out of clay
Or other inventions
Will we burn in heaven
Like we do down here
Will the change come
While we’re waiting
Everyone is waiting
And, when we’re done
As we carried the weight
And died for the cause
Is misery made beautiful
Right before our eyes
Will mercy be revealed
Or blind us where we stand
Lilith Fair @ 20 (Billboard Article/Gil Kaufman/07-05-2017)
Sarah McLachlan Named In Starr Report (MTV News/09-16-1998)
Starr Report Unearths New Bedfellows (The Hartford Courant/Rock Critic Roger Catlin/09-17-1998)
The Pop Life: Musical Damage In Starr Report (The New York Times/Neil Strauss/09-24-1998/Web Archive)
No Official Video
Live From Mirrorball
Sarah Discussing The Surfacing CD
Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round Seven pick.
Pat Benatar exploded on the music scene in the Summer/Fall of 1979 with her debut album In The Heat of the Night. I was in 8th grade and the first song I remember hearing on the radio from the album was Heartbreaker. I went to my hometown’s only mall and headed into a store called Stereo Village. I wanted this song and, when I asked for it, the guy trying to help me automatically thought I was talking about Led Zepplin. When I mentioned Pat Benatar’s song, he didn’t know what I was talking about. He told me to sing some of the music for him…so, my 13 year old self obliged, right there in the middle of the store, “in front of God and everybody” (Southern colloquialism). He still didn’t know the song but, said “Nice voice!” I never did get that 45 and a few months later, rolling into the new decade, We Live For Love was released in February and, I liked it even better than Heartbreaker. Crimes of Passion, her sophomore album, came out the following August and the hits kept coming. You Better Run (The Young Rascals cover) became the second video broadcast on the debut of MTV, behind Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles (a 45 I managed to get my hands on). I was a devoted fan at that point without owning a single song or album. By the time of my 16th birthday, a young man I was dating presented me with the Crimes of Passion album. I was overjoyed.
I nearly got to see her perform during the 1986 Seven the Hard Way tour. It started in January 1986 and stopped, abruptly, in April. She was a mom by then and family pressures caused cancellations. Greensboro Coliseum lost out. I did get to see her for the Can’t Stop Rockin’ tour in 1995 in Raleigh. Prior to those two, my mother considered me too young to see the earlier concerts. 😭
Gravity’s Rainbow was her ninth, and the last studio album to be in the Billboard 200 chart in the top 100s, peaking at #85 on June 19, 1993 and making it to #44 in Canada for one week on July 31, 1993. Named after the Thomas Pynchon novel, it was also the last album released on Chrysalis Records. It was not one of her better albums, statistically speaking but, it yielded three singles, two of which, I love. My favorite album of hers is, of course, the tour that got cancelled in 1986. That being said, after all these years of her music catalog, Somebody’s Baby is my favorite single, released July 5, 1993 (my second favorite single is Le Bel Age). She and Spyder James had already geared down quite a bit, releasing the blues-themed True Love in 1991, to much less fanfare than Wide Awake in Dreamland from 1988. True Love was her first album that did not rate with RIAA.
I am a fan of Benatar like Hans & Max are of the Beatles. I love this one because of the lyrics, the mood, the blend of the music and her stunning voice, though, in this piece, it is not quite as “up there” as when she sings Invincible (she has a four octave range). I am normally indifferent to most lyrics, choosing to immerse myself in musical arrangements and wonderful voices but, the writing speaks to my heart and I confess that, the first time I heard this, it brought me to tears. ~Vic
BenatarGiraldo (Official Website)
Gravity’s Rainbow (RockWired/Brian Lush/06-12-2018)
Pat Benatar (Hip Online/01-05-2008)
Pat Benatar: Gravity’s Rainbow (Rolling Stone/Andrea Odintz/2003/Web Archive)
Richmond: Benatar’s Rise to Fame (Richmond Times-Dispatch/Nicole Kappatos/04-11-2017/Web Archive)
Live On Leno
Regis & Kathie Lee Show (Stripped Down Short Version)
Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round Six pick.
Moving into 1986… My first introduction to R.E.M. wasn’t the radio or MTV. It was an odd video channel on Cablevision in the early 80s in my NC hometown (my mom only had basic cable…no MTV). I’ve talked at great length with Max (Powerpop Blogger) about this obscure video channel. I remember two VJs, one named “Dr. John” (not the musician) that wore blue scrubs and one named “Carrot Top” (not the comedian), that, of course, was a red-headed dude. I have no idea where this channel broadcast from but, it was a seriously stripped down operation. It was just rotating VJs, sitting at a desk, talking into a camera…and playing music videos. The first video I recall seeing was Radio Free Europe, the Murmur version, not the Hib-Tone single (I later found out). I was immediately hooked but, totally missed who the band was. (Interestingly, the Hib-Tone version was recorded at Drive-In Studios in Winston-Salem, NC and the Murmur version was recorded at Reflection Studios in Charlotte, NC.) Fast forward to the end of my senior year of high school and I see some of So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry) on MTV. I had no idea that this was the same band. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college, when Driver 8 came out (another one I like), that a buddy of mine told me who R.E.M. was…a college band out of the University of Georgia (Bulldogs). Every piece of music of theirs that I was lucky enough to catch, I loved. Finally, in 1987, The One I Love broke thru to #9 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and they seemed to be everywhere. Their highest charting hit was Losing My Religion, getting to #4 in 1991. Out of their entire catalog, which is gi-hugic, Fall On Me wound up being my favorite, with my introductory piece, Radio Free Europe, coming in second. I wish I had seen them live.
Bit of odd trivia…five strange degrees of separation. R.E.M. had a manager by the name of Jefferson Holt. He was with them until 1996 when they got rid of him for sexual harassment. Jefferson Holt is from Chapel Hill and his mother is named Bertha “B” Holt. She was an NC State Rep. from 1975 to 1994, representing my home county (and another one). She was quite the pioneer, advocating for the ERA and married rape victims (which is ironic as hell considering her son’s behavior). My paternal grandmother was in Democratic politics in the 60s, 70s & 80s, running for local office, herself (and on first-names basis with several governors). She campaigned heavily for her favorites and “Bee” Holt was one of them. I met Bee Holt several times as a kid and remember all of her “Bee” 🐝 paraphernalia all over my grandmother’s house.
I guess this makes me closer to R.E.M. than Kevin Bacon! 😉 😊 ~Vic
Released 0n August 11, 1986, it was the third track from the album Lifes Rich Pageant. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at #96 the weekend of October 4, peaking at #94 on October 11 before finally disappearing from the chart on October 25. It did better on the Album Rock Tracks, making it to #5 for one week on September 6.
“Of the genuinely new songs, Peter Buck’s basic music track for Fall On Me dated back to July of 1985, when Stipe had written a lyric about acid rain [but], the song had been virtually re-written, melody and lyrics, by the time it came to be recorded. Stipe, who declared in 1991 that “…this may be my favourite song in the R.E.M. catalogue…”, has described the final version as “…pretty much a song about oppression.” Trainspotters might like to know that the counter-melody used in the second verse is actually the song’s original tune.
Johnny Black (2004)
Reveal: The Story of R.E.M.
His Favorite Song
Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round Five pick.
Pulling myself out of 1978, I am moving into the 1980s. ~Vic
John Mellencamp‘s Scarecrow album was released on August 5, 1985, 25 days prior to my 19th birthday and six weeks before I started my sophomore year of college. God, what an album. This was Mellencamp’s version of Born In The USA (I own both albums). Roots rock/Heartland rock was the music in the background of my graduation from high school and subsequent foray into college. Minutes To Memories was not an official release from the album but, it managed to make it to #14 on the Top Rock Tracks for one week as a non-single album track. It spoke volumes to me…
“You are young and you are the future
So, suck it up, tough it out
Be the best you can.”
Written by Mellencamp and his childhoon friend George M. Green, it is the #4 track on the album and Mimi Mapes sang backing vocals. Scarecrow made it to #2 on the Billboard 200 chart the week of November 16, 1985 (coming underneath Born In The USA, twice) and stayed for a couple of weeks, stuck behind the Miami Vice Soundtrack.
“I wrote a song called [You’ve Got To] Stand For Something,” [Mellencamp] explains, “but, I never did say what you should stand for…except your own truth. That song was supposed to be funny, too and, I hope people got that. But, I think that’s the key to the whole LP…suggesting that each person come to grips with their own individual truth […] and try to like themselves a little bit more. Find out what you as a person are […] and don’t let the world drag you down. People should have respect for and believe in themselves.”
A deeply felt sense of responsibility and an equally motivating need to atone for past missteps seem to define Scarecrow. On the midtempo Minutes to Memories, Mellencamp tells the story of a young boy riding home to Indiana after a trip to the South. In the next seat on the bus is a seventy-seven-year-old retired steelworker lecturing the child on how to live, backing his advice with experience. “My family and friends are the best things I’ve known,” he instructs, and the child, a budding rebel, chuckles to himself at how out of touch the old dog is.
Easing into the final verse, Mellencamp hushes his band. In a voice just above a whisper, he suddenly shifts the tale from third to first person. He’s the kid on the Greyhound and, his inability to comprehend, let alone act on, the wisdom he was given then, still haunts him… “Now that I’m older I can see he was right.” [T]hen Mellencamp reveals that he’s telling this story to his own son. He knows he’s being silently scoffed at as surely as his travel companion was two decades earlier. Still, he accepts it and the band rocks out.
There is no official video of this song but, the below is one guy’s idea.
Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round Four pick.
I nearly abandoned the rest of the 1970s for the 1980s until Quinn’s pick. Listening, again, to Tears for Fears reminded me of how much I love a saxophone in rock music. I think I might stay in 1978 for a little while. It was a good year, musically…for me, anyway. I can remember buying this 45 at a Woolworths in my hometown’s only mall. I also remember playing it on my little suitcase record player. I was eleven at the time. There’s not much that Gerry Rafferty put out that I didn’t like. ~Vic
A Scotsman (I am from Clan MacPherson), Rafferty’s first band was The Humblebums (founded in 1965), joining comic Billy Connolly and Tam Harvey in 1969. Harvey departed shortly afterwards and, in 1971, Rafferty recorded his first solo album when he and Connolly parted company. In 1972, he joined with Joe Egan to form Stealers Wheel, their biggest hit being Stuck In The Middle With You from their first, self-titled album. After disbanding in 1975, legal issues over Stealers Wheel prevented him from releasing new material for three years.
Baker Street, the second track from the album City To City, was released February 3, 1978 or, possibly, January 20, 1978, depending and entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart the week of April 22, 1978. It made it to #2 the week of June 24, 1978 and stayed there, stuck behind Andy Gibb‘s Shadow Dancing, for six weeks (as a side note, my paternal aunt gave me the Shadow Dancing 8-track album for my twelfth birthday and it was shoved into a brand new stereo system from my parents):
“…Baker Street was a smash and it allegedly took some serious chart chicanery to keep it out of the #1 spot. [It] stalled out at #2 right as […] Gibb’s Shadow Dancing was in the midst of its seven-week run at #1. According to legend, the chart tabulators at Billboard had actually figured out that Baker Street had finally ascended to the #1 spot in one of those [seven] weeks and they’d called the new chart into the producers at Casey Kasem’s radio show, America’s Top 40 [sic]. But, because of a last-minute correction, Kasem had to re-record the end of that week’s show, putting Shadow Dancing back on top.
According to rumor, Bill Wardlow, Billboard chart director, made the call to keep Shadow Dancing at #1. Wardlow had supposedly gone to dinner with Andy Gibb’s managers and he’d mentioned that Baker Street had knocked Shadow Dancing out of the #1 spot. Gibb had been scheduled to perform at a Billboard-sponsored show in New York and his label threatened to pull him from the bill if Billboard didn’t keep Shadow Dancing on top…so that’s why Baker Street never got to #1. This is all pure speculation and hearsay but, it’s a good story. Record labels have been doing everything in their power to game the Billboard charts ever since those charts began and it certainly seems possible that Baker Street could’ve been a casualty of all that.
“While doing a bit of research the other day, I found myself poking around the edition of Billboard dated February 17, 1973 (PDF), as one does.
Here’s some of what’s inside:
Willis “Bill” Wardlow has been named associate publisher of Billboard. Over the next several years, Wardlow would be responsible for occasionally jiggering the Billboard charts to reward or punish record labels and to do favors for industry friends. As we learned a few years ago, his manipulations led to Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street” spending only 12 hours at #1.”
40 Years Later: Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street ~ The Most Controversial No. 2 Song Ever? (DJ Rob Blog/04-17-2018)
Baker Street: The Mystery of Rock’s Greatest Sax Riff (The Atlantic/Adam Chandler/12-17-2015)
Scott Paton: Billboard Insider Comment (The Hits Just Keep On Comin’ Website/AT40 From The Inside/09-16-2013)
Smoking The Bible
Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round Three pick.
I can’t recall the first time I heard Driver’s Seat but, the song entered Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart on July 21, 1979. I was twelve and I was immediately hooked. It was released in 1978 but, took a while to gain any traction. It managed to get to #15 for a couple of weeks, sandwiched between Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor) by Robert Palmer and Born To Be Alive by Patrick Hernandez. It was the first track from Sniff ‘n’ The Tears debut album Fickle Heart and was the band’s only hit despite fifteen albums, spanning 1978 to 2020.
The history of this British rock band is a little sketchy. Colin Larkin, the British Editor-in-Chief of The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, stated in the 1997 edition that they “had been gigging in England as early as 1974” but, an Athens Calling interview in 2018 reflects 1972. A Jason Ankeny, writing for All Music, stated that lead singer/songwriter Paul Roberts dissolved the band after not being able to get a record deal. Drummer Luigi Salvoni talked Roberts into re-forming the band with Mick Dyche, Loz Netto, Chris Birkin and Alan Fealdman. Ankeny has the actual musician line-up all wrong in comparison to the official website. There is also no mention of Noel McCalla as backing vocals for the time period. The name of the band apparently came from their manager, as Roberts had hay fever and sniffed a lot.
The band is still active as of 2001 as a quartet, with Roberts & Salvoni still working together. ~Vic
Top of the Pops 1979 (Proper Line-Up)
Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round Two pick.
I grew up around lots of music. My dad had his tastes, my mom had hers and I got some exposure to my grandparents music, too. There was plenty of Elvis, Buddy Holly, Everly Brothers, Ricky Nelson, Gene Pitney, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Johnny Horton, The Ventures, The Beach Boys, instrumental music (think Hugo Montenegro or Paul Mauriat), funny stuff like Ben Colder/Sheb Wooley, Ray Stevens or David Seville (my dad’s stuff), The Four Seasons, Motown, soul music, beach music (my mom’s stuff), big band music (my paternal grandparents) and, bluegrass, country and Latin/jazz (maternal grandparents). One song, in particular, that reminds me of my dad the most is Cathy’s Clown. When I was a kid, my dad liked to just get in the car, drive around and listen to the radio. It was, literally, No Particular Place To Go. When I became an adult, we’d still get in the car and cruise. He and I would sing Cathy’s Clown, together, with me taking Phil’s harmony. I still own my dad’s original 45. ~Vic
Written by Don, it was recorded in March and released in April 1960. It was recorded live, in a single take, with both brothers sharing a microphone. Floyd Cramer was on piano, Floyd Chance on bass and Buddy Harman on drums. An odd song, it has a chorus and bridges but, no verses. It was their first single for Warner Bros. It spent five weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, one week on the Billboard’s R&B chart and seven weeks at #1 on UK’s Singles chart. It was their biggest selling single and their last #1 after Wake Up Little Susie and All I Have to Do Is Dream.
The song is ranked at #150 Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and it was added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in 2013. Covers have been done by Reba McEntire and Neil Sedaka (1983) with McEntire’s version reaching #1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and Canada’s RPM Country Tracks chart in 1989. There is even a Jan and Dean version on Filet Of Soul Redux: The Rejected Master Recordings (2017).
“We owe those guys everything. They started it all.” ~Bob Dylan
Additional Reading & References:
The Everly Brothers: That Sibling Sound (BBC News/2014)
Cathy’s Clown ~ The Everly Brothers (Library of Congress/PDF)
Recording Cathy’s Clown (Steve Hoffman Music Forum)
Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show 1960